Friday, September 25

X-Files Season One: Episodes 16-18 (Young at Heart, E.B.E., Miracle Man)

1x16: Young at Heart

So much has changed about the pace of storytelling on TV since this was filmed.  The opening sequences in the hospital/prison feel like they take an incredibly long time, mostly showing atmospheric touches rather than being packed wall-to-wall with plot information.  Some days I miss the more leisurely pace, and other days I'm bored by it.
We get to see Mulder having friends and connections beyond just Scully and the Lone Gunman - although that's not going to last much longer, the deeper he goes.

Mulder used to go by the book and it bit him in the ass - I think I'd missed this plot point the first time around.  I didn't remember it, in any case.

I need two gifs from this episode: Reggie waking up with his glasses all askew, and the scene where Scully is learning about the research and is all "whoa, science!" and Mulder is all "oh god, why do you people keep thinking this is a good idea?"



1x17: E.B.E.

I love how Scully is cut off in the middle of explaining how the Gunmen's paranoia is self-delusion by the discovery of the bug in her pen.

Scully is all on board the conspiracy train, just with an eye to a different cause.  She's seen plenty even just in the first half of season one to make her angry about what the government (and/or shadow government) is hiding and she's is very plainly Not Okay with it.  She just doesn't necessarily think that it's due to the same causes Mulder does.
Mulder is the one who trusts others - Scully trusts only him, even from the beginning and I think that's a natural outgrowth of the fangirl hero-crush she came into the partnership with, proven out by close to a year internal show-time working with him and seeing how good he is, and how he repays that with respect and appreciation of her skills and talents.

Deep throat gives Mulder this look like "oh you poor naive baby"

"He's never lied to me" - this is something Mulder is taking on faith, he's assuming that's true, but we don't see any evidence that he's ever actually questioned Deep Throat's viability as a source.

"Mulder the truth is out there. But so are lies."

He's mad she doesn't believe it, but he still has enough respect for her views and intellect to double check at her request.  Again and again: this is why they work.

And, DING DING DING - Deep Throat lied.

Physical boundaries - he pushes them.

Scully questions - in a way that suggests she believes in a real possibility - if they just had a close encounter.  There's a change to the tenor of her voice when they run into visceral proof of a possible phenomena, she sounds younger and more like a subordinate asking a teacher when she asks Mulder those sorts of questions.

Mulder's the first one to disbelieve in the face of the hoaxes, while Scully is all in, returning to the apprentice role asking him for reassurance and confirmation and answers. She still respects his authority and knowledge in this arena.

Scully always takes one for the team and gets taken into custody (and how much do I love her expressions and body language here? SO MUCH), but she's much more suited to being interrogated, and Mulder is much more suited to making a break for it.

How does the story that Deep Throat spins for Mulder here add up to the broader conspiracy we later discover?  As usual with this character, how much faith can we put in his answers and explanations?

Also a side question - what are the chances that Skinner's involvement with the conspiracy go back as far as Vietnam?  The creature that Deep Throat talks about exterminating was found over/near Hanoi, which I believe is where Skinner says he was after his near death experience.

"I'm wondering which lie to believe"



1x18: Miracle Man

"Slaying of the first born?" - I love that grin, and would imagine that here she's well aware that he is a firstborn and she isn't. I love it when they're playful with one another.

The general description, when someone talks about the dynamic between Mulder and Scully, is that he believes and she doesn't except when it comes to matters of faith, in which case they're perceived to flip roles.  It isn't an unfair description - however, having not seen "Miracle Man" in several years, and with my memory of it being spotty at best, I was expecting this to be the first time that faith vs. distrust comes into play (really, it turns out that crops up first way back in "Beyond the Sea") - but in this case that isn't how it plays out, at all.  Scully doesn't believe in Samuel's abilities, she doesn't seem to have much in the way of patience with the Reverend and what he does, meanwhile Mulder is the one having visions of Samantha and wanting more answers from Samuel.  It's a call out to Scully's back-and-forth with Boggs over her father, though without some of the more dangerous undertones since Samuel isn't ever really believed to be the director of whatever is going wrong by anyone except himself.  Mulder has the same struggle between wanting more information and being angry at Samuel's unwillingness to provide it, though - he storms off and comes back, over and over and over again.


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